Stanford squeezes past Long Beach State 93-86 photo: Stanford Cardinal Josh Sharma goes up for the throwdown against the Long Beach Matadors at Maples Pavilion on Saturday night

by Joey Friedman

PALO ALTO — Coming off a loss to an outstanding San Francisco Dons team on the road, Stanford (now 7-5 on the season) returned to Maples Pavilion for their final game of the 2018 calendar year and their final game of the non-conference schedule against Long Beach State (now 5-10 on the season). Star freshman guard Cormac Ryan remained out for the third consecutive game with an ankle injury, giving freshman Jaiden Delaire his first career start in the win. Stanford was successful in avenging last year’s road loss to the Long Beach State 49ers by the score of 93-86.

The game remained tight throughout the first half as copious turnover and fouls committed by both teams stunted any runs. The Cardinal and The Beach exchanged small advantages with Josh Sharma and KZ Okpala leading the team with 9 and 8 points in the half, respectively. Sharma also collected 10 rebounds in the first half, setting a career record. Stanford would take a 37-36 lead to halftime.

Long Beach State’s lead with the score 45-43 was their last of the night as Stanford caught fire and, on the back of a pair of Oscar da Silva 3-pointers, went on a 13-1 run, which put the score at 56-46 with less than 14 minutes left in the game.

The Beach didn’t go quietly, however. Stanford’s free throw shooting down the stretch allowed for the 49ers to crawl back to within two points with under a minute to go. Bryan Alberts, who finished with 22 points (6-13 from beyond the arc), nailed a pair of 3s while Temidayo Yussuf, who finished with 13 points (5-7 from the field), added 6 points of his own in the closing minutes to narrow the gap. Towards the end of the game, Stanford shot 5-19 from the charity stripe.

Down by 3 and with a chance to tie the game with under 10 seconds left in the game, Long Beach State head coach Don Monson tried to call a timeout to presumably set up a play for his team on offense but was unsuccessful at getting the referees’ attention. Subsequently, Long Beach State threw up a poor, air-balled shot on their final possession. Monson was understandably irate with the referees which drew a pair of technical fouls and an ejection from the court. Stanford padded their lead in the closing seconds with the fouls shots.

Josh Sharma finished the game for the Cardinal with his first career double-double. He set career-highs in both points and rebounds, blowing his previous career highs out of the water. He finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds.

Daejon Davis, who had 17 points and 5 assists for the Cardinal, left the game with an apparent ankle injury with about seven minutes left in the game. Head coach Jerod Hasse said he does not know the extent of the injury.

KZ Okpala and Jaiden Delaire each had 20 points and 10 points, respectively, in the win.

What’s next?
Stanford will open Pac-12 Conference play with the LA schools as the Card head south for games at UCLA on January 3rd and at USC on January 6th.

Long Beach State opens Big West Conference play at home against UC Davis after they face Bethesda at home on January 5th.

Stanford routs the Cal State Northridge Matadors 96-69

by Jerry Feitelberg

photo by Jerry Feitelberg The Stanford cheer team takes midcourt with lots to cheer about as Stanford wins their first home game of the season over the CSUN Matadors on Tuesday night at Maples Pavilion

PALO ALTO- The Stanford Cardinal Men’s basketball team, showing no ill effects from the long trip home from Shanghai, routed the CSUN Matadors 96-69. Coach Jerod Haase, in his first season as head coach of the Cardinal, had his team playing aggressively. They played well on defense and ran the court at every opportunity. Most of last year’s team returned, and they showed how well a team could play with experience under their collective belts. Michael Humphrey and Reid Travis started at forward. Dorian Pickens, Christian Sanders and Marcus Allen, all guards, were in the starting lineup. The Matadors, coached by former NBA star, Reggie Theus, were no match for the Cardinal Tuesday night.

The Cardinal was playing the second game and the first game at home this season raced out to a thirteen-point advantage at the end of the first half. The visiting Cal State University Northridge Matadors jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. The Cardinal tied the game at seven with 16:24 left in the half. With the score 10-9 for Stanford, the Cardinal went on a 19-5 run to take a 29-14 lead. Reid Travis led the Cardinal with fifteen points. Marcus Allen and Dorian Pickens each had eight for theCardinal. The Matadors closed the gap to thirteen at the end of the half.  Kendall Smith led the Matador attack with thirteen. Dylan Johns added six for CSUN. CSUN shot just 37% from the floor while Stanford’s was at 41%. The Cardinal led 22-18 in rebounds, and they played great defense in the half. The Cardinal leads 47-34 after twenty minutes of play.

The rout was on at the start of the second half. Dorian Pickens started the half with two 3-point shots. Reid Travis scored a bucket to give the Cardinal a twenty-one point lead. Josh Sharma, the 7-foot center, and Marcus Sheffield were terrific in the half. Sharma ended the game with fifteen, and Sheffield added seventeen. The guys in Cardinal and White could not be caught. The Matadors trailed by thirty-one 85-54 and were done for the game. Stanford improves to 2-0 while the Matadors drop to 1-2.

Game Notes- After the game Reid Travis, who had nineteen in the contest, said the team “stayed aggressive.” Dorian Pickens had a short answer when asked about how well the team moved the ball. His reply was “great.”

Coach Jarod Haase said he “had a blast” watching his team run to a win. He said this about his players:”they are so willing to learn.” When asked what he liked and didn’t like about the game, Haase remarked:” I didn’t like the ebb and flow of the game.” However,”I liked the way we shared the ball.”

The Cardinal play Weber State at Maples Pavilion at 7 pm Thursday night.  They finish the homestand Sunday against the Colorado State Rams at 3 pm.

Attendance was a pitiful 2801.